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The Email Broadcast Blog

How To Be An Inbox Hero

The best way to understand the dos-and-don’ts of email marketing is to take a look at your own inbox. Here are some of the most common mistakes you’ve probably experienced firsthand and easy tips to avoid them:

1. Only talking about you.

Solution: We all love a good sale, but if you’re only promoting yourself all day every day, you risk wearing out your audience or cannibalizing your own offers. Add some diversity to your content by following the “Rule of Thirds.”narcissist_1

  • ⅓ of your messages is about you and your content, such as that great sale you’re having or your new website launch.
  •  ⅓ of your messages is adding value to your customer’s life, like those design tips you get from your favorite furniture store.
  • ⅓ of your content is creating personal interactions that build your brand, such as “thanks for visiting our store, *|FNAME|*.”

 

2. Focusing on open rates instead of results.trickster

Solution: If you’re the click-bait news in your customer’s inbox, you’re guaranteed to piss them off. Instead of tricking your audience into opening a message, find creative ways to say what you REALLY mean. Your subject lines should communicate the real benefits of your promotion in 50 characters or less.

Not sure if you’re hitting the mark? Adestra has an awesome subject line keyword checker to make sure you’re on track.

 

3. Being sloppy with your content.slob

Solution: Part of what makes email marketing so special is that it feels personal—even if we know it isn’t. But that connection is quickly lost when your email is riddled with typos and your content is haphazard. Above all else, your messages should communicate one thing to your customers: you are important. To make sure your content is up to par, stay a month (or two) ahead of your messages. That gives you plenty of time to create, copy edit, adapt, keep your list data clean—and even change your mind.

 

burglar4. Having the wrong list.

Solution: Despite what that list salesman is telling you, if you didn’t acquire your contacts yourself, you’re a spammer. Period. If your list is purchased (or just dated), not only are you risking your reputation, but you could be breaking the law, too. Take the time to build a list the right way. It takes longer, but it will pay off.

Not sure how to go about it? We have solutions for that.

 

ghost5. Disappearing.

Solution: Ever get an email from a company you haven’t heard from in so long that you forgot they even existed? We have, too. Finding the right email frequency can result in higher opens, fewer unsubscribes, and opportunities to do more business with email marketing. The right cadence will vary from business to business, but if you don’t have time to send monthly messages, you’re better off outsourcing your email marketing or focusing your attention elsewhere. Remember that 73% of email recipients say the frequency is their primary reason for opting out of a list, so take the time to investigate what works for your customers.

Email Marketing Benefits Every Business Owner Should Know

How do you honestly feel about email marketing? For some, it’s a weapon of evil. For others, it’s an extremely effective, lucrative marketing tool—and one that is definitely worth investing in. So, why the discrepancy?

A lot of companies that use email marketing don’t realize it’s all about managing relationships. You need to approach it with tender loving care. If you aren’t completely sold on it, you’re not going to sell your audience. If you’re half-assing it or making it all about you, people probably aren’t going to like you. And if you lose that spark, your audience might find it somewhere else.

But don’t let the people doing email marketing the wrong way dissuade you from what’s possible. We’ve seen first-hand how good email marketing has the power to transform a business, nurture relationships, strengthen a brand, and help rake in dollar bills.

This might sound like a sales pitch, and it is—in part. We help our clients use email marketing effectively, so they can reap the benefits. That may be a pitch, but it’s also the truth.

Here are some unbiased, big-picture email marketing benefits every business owner should know:

It’s already benefitting your competition. Ninety-five percent of companies using marketing automation are taking advantage of email marketing and 64% of those marketers say they saw benefits within months of implementation. (regalix.com)

It is responsible for nearly a quarter of sales. On average, companies attribute 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel. (adestra.com)

It isn’t going anywhere. Ninety-one percent of consumers check their email daily and that number is only expected to grow. (exacttarget.com)

It’s more effective than social media. Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (idc.com). Email campaigns generate six times more click-throughs than tweets do. (campaignmonitor.com)

It drives more purchases than competing platforms. Email has the highest conversion rate (66%) for purchases when compared to social media and direct mail. (thedma.org)

It is the king of ROI. For every $1 spent, email marketing can generate up to $43 in ROI. That’s 4,300 percent. (entrepreneur.com)

Your customers like it. Seventy-two percent of consumers say that email is their favored form of business communication. Sixty-one percent say they like to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. ­(marketingsherpa.com)

It builds longer customer relationships. The lifetime value of customers acquired through email is 12% higher than average, while Twitter is 23% lower than average. (custora.com)

Mobile optimization is crucial. People in the United States across all age groups check their phones an average of 46 times daily. Not surprisingly, click-through rates on mobile-centric emails are 23% higher than those built solely for desktop users. (time.com, emailmonday.com)

Most companies don’t have time to do it right. Only 10% of companies employ individuals who are dedicated to email marketing. Email marketing responsibility falls to employees as part of their wider marketing responsibilities in 40% of companies surveyed. (adestra.com)

Bottom line? The numbers don’t lie. Email marketing (done well) is a kickass tool you can’t afford to skip.

We quit Facebook. Should your business do the same?

We quit Facebook. Should your business do the same?

Email Broadcast has a Facebook page—your business probably does, too. In a classic case of “everybody else is doing it,” we jumped aboard the social media bandwagon to make sure we didn’t miss out on the magic that Mark Zuckerberg was dishing out.

If you go to our Facebook page right now, you’ll see what remains of our “Like us” efforts: one post with a link to this blog (totally meta, right?).

Earlier this month, our team was discussing the whos, whens, and hows of dedicating more time and effort toward our Facebook page. See if this sounds familiar:

You meet to develop a social media strategy. Building off of the momentum of that meeting, you enthusiastically post, share, and promote on your page for a couple of weeks. Engagement, growth hacking, storytelling, buzzwords, and so on…you’re about to go viral. Higher-priority projects and deadlines start to stack up. Facebook gets shoved to the back burner once again.

Somewhere in the midst of our conversational deja vu, a new team member piped up with a single word.

 

“Why?”

 

Our knee-jerk response was a heavy eye roll and a “Because we have to.” But then we thought about it critically and that explanation didn’t sit well with us. We don’t like to do anything without a good reason, and “Because we have to” suddenly felt akin to “He started it,” and “I know you are, but what am I?”

Why did we have to devote our team’s limited time and resources to Facebook? What were we getting in return? How were our clients benefiting from our Facebook page? What has Facebook ever done for us, really?

The answers we found were pretty crappy.

We set up our Facebook page in 2009, and have since answered “What’s on your mind?” thousands of times with posts, pics, links, and shares. Despite this, we are not able to connect any of that to a new client (or dollar) earned. That’s $0 ROI in 7 years—and we’re not alone.

Forbes reported on a Manta study of more than 1,235 small business owners, of which 50% increased their time spent on social media. More than 60% of this group reported seeing no ROI from their engagement online.

So why are we doing it?

Getting our brand and messages in front of the companies and decision makers that mattered to us is growing increasingly difficult (and expensive) in the over-saturated social media marketing arena. Keeping up with the ever-changing updates to Facebook’s UI is cumbersome in itself. Executing an engagement strategy on top of that is a task that can easily fall to the wayside of higher priorities and client demands.

As social and mobile media have exploded over the past decade, a myth has materialized that if you’re a business and you’re not on board, you’re doing it wrong. This way of thinking champions the fear of missing out, rather than common sense. It’s why your dentist has a Snapchat and the Chinese takeout place down the street is trying to get you to follow them on Periscope.

 

Stick to what works.

 

At Email Broadcast, we operate on a pretty simple principle: Do what works. If the idea comes from way out in left field, but it produces results: Do it. If it’s a tough climb, but it’s the only way to the top: Do it. If no one else is doing it that way, but it works for us: Do it. We’re too sensible to be picky. We like results. Sexy or plain. We’ll take the paths that lead to success for us and our clients.

Regardless of its popularity, Facebook wasn’t working for us. So we quit.

What does work for us? Email (shocking, we know). It works, it’s proven to do so, and best of all: Email is what we’re great at.

According to research compiled by HubSpot, email marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the U.S. in 2014. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. Plus, more than 70% of US consumers say that they prefer email communication from businesses.

So as we leave our Facebook page to collect dust, we’re going to keep polishing our email skills, finding new ways to push the electronic envelope, and making our clients even more money.

Are you ready to ditch the ‘book, too? Leave a comment and tell us what works well—or hasn’t worked at all—for your business.

 

Check out the top 21 email marketing facts of 2016.

Fire Your Email Marketing Manager


 

Some people are getting rich on email marketing… Are you?

In this video, I explain why you should fire your email manager, and why you just might get rich from your email marketing if you do.

If you prefer to read a transcript of the video, I’ve copied it for you, below.

Some people are getting rich using email marketing, but I’m guessing it’s not you…

In this video I’m going to share our five secret weapons on how you can have an amazing email campaign and why should fire your email marketing manager.

You and I both know that email marketing is not dead — not by a long shot.

In fact the Direct Marketing Association ranks email marketing number one on return on investment over any other medium, including SEO, social media, AdWords — all of them…

Smart business owners like you already know that having an excellent email campaign is THE answer to a lot of your business problems.

  • Number one, driving revenue. In a recent survey, companies said that 21 percent of the revenue came from their email marketing channel. Last year, we drove over ten million dollars in revenue for one of our clients, just through the email channel.
  • Second, an email audience is a built-in market ready for your next product or service.
  • Third, you can find out what your customers really want by tracking their interest on what they open and what they click.
  • Fourth, everyone knows it’s a great way to automate your sales and marketing.

The problem is that most businesses are relying upon old marketing techniques that just simply don’t cut it anymore.

There are five secret weapons you need to have in building a money-making email marketing campaign.

That brings me to your email marketing manager…

When you hired this person, you probably thought, “I’m finally making that investment in email marketing that my company deserves.”

But it hasn’t worked out that great, has it?

And why not? Because besides how talented this person seemed at first, they’re not the answer to your email marketing problems.

You see, they’re only one individual, and they only have a limited set of skills.

Tell me the truth, after you hired this person, and found out that you still had to spend money on a designer and coding expert just to get your email launched, you probably felt a little cheated, didn’t you?

And then, when you find out that your email marketing manager wasn’t the best copywriter in the building, let alone the state, you either had to lower your expectations or go and hire one of them as well. Every month.

So now you have a manager that’s trying to hack together a disjointed team, trying to put something magical together, and all at the last minute.

So, how’s that working out for you?

If you’re like a lot of our clients, you’re sick of it. And, frankly, you should be. Thankfully, there is a solution.

Instead of wasting $84,000 a year — which is the average salary for an Email Marketing Manager, according to payscale.com — why not hire Email Broadcast at a fraction of the price?

We have an entire team that’s ready to go to work on your campaign.

So, here are the five things you’ll get with Email Broadcast. We call them our secret weapons.

  1. Number one, you get me. My name is Ken Mahar. I’m the founder of Email Broadcast. I have a 25-year track record in sales in retail, business-to-business, and enterprise-level selling. I was number one in every company that I work for. In fact, I was the national walk around champion for Honda… Number one out of ten thousand salespeople. I’ll take my sales experience, combined with 15 years of email marketing experience and put those to work for you and your campaign on day one.
  2. Number two. Then there’s Kim. She’s not only an award-winning writer, she actually grew an e-commerce operation from $300k to $5 million dollars a year for a local retailer. She’ll come up with innovative ideas that will blow your mind… you probably never even thought of. As our operations
    manager, she’ll make sure that your campaign never misses a beat.
  3. Third is David. He’s a graphic designer with over 20 years experience. He’s The Master at conjuring the perfect imagery that nails your brand. He’s a creative genius! It took us forever to find him. He’ll be on your team.
  4. Which brings me to number four: Larry. Larry’s never met a black box with blinking lights that he didn’t fall in love with, take apart, and put back together again. He’ll have your system talking to our system in a flash, with no excuses.
  5. Fifth, and maybe most important, is your account coordinator. This is a person that is assigned to your account who will get to know your business as well as you do. They’re going to be your constant companion, writing every word of your content as a trained copywriter. Like a virtual member of your marketing team, she’ll be working on your campaign, monitoring its results, and planning the next thing way before your team would have. She’ll make sure it has your voice and is brand-perfect.

With these five team members all pouring their experience into your campaign, soon you’ll be getting rich using email marketing.

So, now you have an important decision to make: are you going to fire your email marketing manager and all the related expenses, and then hire the world-beating team at Email Broadcast for a fraction of the price with better results?

Of course you should!

And here’s the good news: we have availability. We only work with 25 clients at a time, and right now we have space for a couple more.

So if you’re interested, click this link:  https://calendly.com/kenmahar/20min/

We’ll have a twenty minute, no obligation, conversation and I’ll tell you exactly what we could do for your campaign, and what the investment will be. You can then compare what you’re getting now, what you’re paying for now, versus what we could put together. I think the decision will be easy.

So go ahead and click this link: https://calendly.com/kenmahar/20min/
and I’ll see you online.

Seriously. go ahead and click the link:  https://calendly.com/kenmahar/20min/
I’ll wait here…

You can do it. It’s right down below:
https://calendly.com/kenmahar/20min/

Does your email marketing campaign suck?

Does your email marketing campaign suck?

Score your email marketing campaign here.

Answer the 13 questions about your email marketing campaign below, and we’ll score your cxampaign.

Grab a piece of scratch paper and add two columns. Give yourself a check mark for yes or no to each question and then add them up.

  1. Do you have a great strategy on building your list, communicating with your people, and driving action?
  2. Are 2 to 5% of the people visiting your website signing up for your email campaign?
  3. Are you consistently converting new email signups into new customers?
  4. Is email driving at least 5% of your sales?
  5. Is your email design as beautiful as the rest of your branding and customer experience?
  6. Do people complement you on your email campaign and eagerly anticipate the next one?
  7. Are you properly introducing your company and telling the best version of your story to new contacts you made both offline and online?
  8. Do you have all the technical skills required for all the various browsers, email clients and mobile devices your audience uses?
  9. Are you disciplined in your approach creating great content a month in advance? (or is it all last minute heroics?)
  10. Do you have a giant list of amazing content ideas with your main problem picking which one to do next?
  11. Is your email campaign an extension of your brand and what it stands for? Have you gone through a formal branding process that you refer to consistently?
  12. Are you mining your report data to find out what people are responding to, and whom to follow up with personally?
  13. Do you swell with pride each time your email is launched?

Add up the yes column and find out how you did here:

0-4    The car equivalent of the Toyota Yaris. Yeah, it sucks. But you haven’t invested that much have you? Try harder, or better yet, contact us instead.

5-8   Chrysler 300. Nice work. You’ve got good fundamentals and some style, but you need help to go pro. Consider honestly if you have the time and resources, or should outsource.

9-11   Porsche Carrera. Stylish, powerful, respected. You are kicking butt. You may not, sniff, need us.

11-13  Ferrari 458 Convertible. People stop just to watch your email go by.  Would you like to work for us? Check out our careers page for current openings.

So, how did you do? Leave a comment below with any questions this may have generated.

The Spaceballs Method to Password Security

Store your passwords securely

In the 1987 movie Spaceballs there’s a scene were they need a password to get past a planet’s defenses.  The code turns out to be “12345”.  Mel Brooks’ character exclaims “12345?  That’s amazing, I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!”  Fast forward a few decades and what do you suppose the most common password was in 2014?  The good news is that “12345″ was not number one.  It was number three.  The top honor goes to “123456″.  The word “password” came in at number two— a sad state of affairs.

 A large part of the problem with password security is that people don’t realize how easy it is to break into systems with simple passwords.  A lifetime ago I worked for a company as an engineering intern. One day my boss asked me if I could check the security on the accounting systems.  After about ten minutes of cold calls pretending to be from IT, I had a user’s password.  A day later I had a list of over four hundred user passwords from a file I cracked.  Since people often reuse passwords, it gave me access to more than just their office terminals.

Think about your own accounts. How many of them use your email address as the account name, and have the same password you use everywhere? If someone knew your favorite password and your email, could they access your bank account information?  What about your Amazon account?  How many items could someone “One Click” with your stored credit cards before you would notice?

 “Okay, Larry, you’ve made me nervous about my system security, but what do I do?”  

Well, to start with don’t use passwords that have family names or easy to find information like your birthday and or pets.  Misterbarky2 is not a secure password, even with the capital letter and a number.  Mix things up:  Throw in special symbols at the beginning or end, or replace normal letters with numbers.  Take the word “password” for example.  I could use “@“ for the letter a, zero for the letter o, tack some special characters and numbers on to end up with “$p@ssw0rd1”.  That’s a lot harder to guess.

Having a different password for each site you go to is best.  If one site gets compromised, you don’t want that password to work if someone tries it on other sites (and I guarantee you, they will try). Now, one problem with all of this is soon you’re going to end up with many, many passwords.  Almost all of us have a coworker or family member who’s computer monitor looks like a sunflower with all of the sticky notes around it—not exactly the hardest system to crack, when all it takes is a sideways glance or a quick phone photo to have access to them all.

Since I’m cheap thrifty I use a free piece of software called Keepass and store the file using a service like Dropbox.  By doing that I automatically back up my passwords and get the added bonus of being able to get to my passwords from my phone or tablet.  If you’re the spendy type another product is 1Password.  This is commercial product that also acts as a password storage system that keeps everything encrypted. PC Magazine has reviews of both paid and free password managers.  Another bonus to most of these password managers is they will generate very strong passwords for you as needed.

 To summarize, quit using “password” for your password and browse safely!


I thought you guys were an Email Marketing Agency. Why Am I Reading This On EmailBroadcast.com?

We are a full service email marketing agency with a staff comprised of serious heavy hitters who have done big things in their careers. What that means, along with never having to stress over an email campaign again, is that we’re constantly sharing ways to help you succeed. The bigger your business gets, the more cool stuff we get to do with your email marketing. Everybody wins.

4 Factors Influencing Your Email Bounce Rate

4 Factors Influencing Your Email Bounce Rate

Whether you’re working for a large-scale digital marketing firm or a small business owner handling your own email campaigns, we all have similar goals—one of them being reducing our email bounce rate. Though it’s impossible to have a perfect track record with every delivery, we all still must try. Sure you may have the occasional campaign that registers a beautiful goose egg, but there are often forces beyond our control working against us that cause emails to bounce. Other times, you could have improved the message or delivery tactics to lessen your bounce rate. Read on below to learn a few reasons why your emails may be bouncing, and what you can do about it.

You Have an Incorrect or Non-Existent Email Address

One of the easiest ways to get a high bounce rate is to have a whole bunch of wrong email addresses in your list. If you’re collecting email addresses in writing, you’re bound to run across some chicken scratch. Letters get misread or mistyped—it happens. Moreover, some of your subscribers could have switched Internet providers or signed up using a work email address and is no longer with that company. The point is there are a lot of reasons why you have dead weight in your subscriber list.

Solution: Don’t be too hasty to delete an email address after the first bounce—it may be a temporary issue. However, if the same address continues to bounce, then you can purge your list of it, or if you can, confirm the email address the next time you come in contact with the client.

Emails Get Caught in SPAM Filters

Spammers are always working on new ways to push their messages out into the world, and as a result, SPAM filters are always developing their algorithm to better weed out unsolicited junk mail. Perhaps it was the wording you used that triggered the SPAM filter that bounced your email or you’re sending a message to too many people who work for a single corporation or entity, and the sheer bulk appears to be a red flag.

Solution: Make sure your messages don’t include spammy jargon and use words like “free”, “guaranteed”, or “satisfaction”. If the issue revolves around sending to too many people in a business, contact the firm’s IT department and politely ask them to whitelist your emails.

Temporarily Unable to Deliver Email

Not all bounces are created equal. Most of the time, hard bounces and soft bounces are lumped together, but some email services will distinguish between the two. “Hard bounces” are the result of invalid email addresses, SPAM filters etc. Conversely, a “soft bounce” occurs when your email is rejected due to a temporary issue—inability to connect to the recipient’s server, oversized email, or the recipient has a full mailbox. Many email providers will continue to try and send the email for up to 72 hours.

Solution: Cross your fingers and hope the issue resolves itself within the time frame your email service attempts to resend the email.

Recipient Has an Active Auto-responder

People reserve the right to activate their email’s auto-responder at any time. Maybe they’re globetrotting to Bora Bora for two weeks and will be out of reach, or they set their out-of-office on the Friday before Labor Day. It doesn’t matter why the auto-responder is set up; it’s mere activation will repel and bounce emails.

Solution: Nothing. Track who’s bouncing the messages. If you are consistently getting bounced from certain email addresses over the period of a few months, they may be invalid.

The average email bounce rates for marketing campaigns vary between industries. Non-profits bottom out the list at a little less than 3 percent, and real estate tops the chart at nearly 14 percent. As long as you are within your industry average or even lower, feel good about the work you’re doing. If you’re interested in having a team of talented, innovative email marketers at your disposal to help you craft effective messages and reduce email bounce rate, contact us today.

International Women’s Day

 

March 8th is International Women’s Day and we are proud to celebrate the inspiring women in our lives and in our company. To the women reading this—Thank you. Every day, in a thousand different ways, you inspire us and set the example for our daughters.

The theme for 2015’s International Women’s Day is ‘Make It Happen’. It is a call to not just appreciate, not just to celebrate, not just to talk, but to act. Action isn’t only big gestures. It starts small. $100k for breast cancer begins with a $10 pledge. The construction of a new women’s shelter begins with one person asking “What can I do to help?” On the 8th (and every day), take a moment to act in some small way for the women around you, or even just to appreciate them and let them know how they have added value to your life.

2014 was an incredible year for women’s rights around the globe. We hope you’ll join us in our commitment to ‘Make It Happen’ on an even larger scale in 2015. For each comment we receive on this post and for every share our International Women’s Day email receives via the included share buttons, we’ll donate $10 to the United Nations Fund for UN Women.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few stories about phenomenal women of action:

MarieCuriMarie Curie

Born in 1867, she was the first woman to receive a PHD from the Sorbonne, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize ever and in the categories of physics and chemistry, and the first person—man or woman—to receive two Nobel Prizes. She is attributed with the discovery of polonium, radium, and the development of X-rays. Read more about the life of this ground breaking woman…

 

Valentina TereshkovaValentinaTereshkova

In June of 1963, the Russian factory worker with a passion for parachuting became the first woman in space. In only sixteen months she completed the intensive training to become a cosmonaut and completed more orbits than all of the U.S. astronauts that preceded her combined before successfully returning to Earth. She went on to become a member of the USSR’s national parliament. Read more about her here…

 

JaneAdamsJane Addams

In 1889, she and friend Ellen Gates Starr opened one of the first settlement houses in North America. Hull House in Chicago offered services for the poor and immigrant population, growing services to include childcare, education, and public meals. Addams also served on Chicago’s Board of Education and was the first president of what would become the National Conference of Social Work. See her many accomplishments here…

 

Grandma_MosesAnna Mary Robertson

The artist known as Grandma Moses didn’t begin painting until she was 76 years old. After a lifetime of labor and little education, giving birth to ten children and helping her husband run their farm in rural New York, she finally began painting when arthritis prohibited her from farm work and embroidery. At 78 her paintings, primarily done on small pieces of cardboard, were discovered by an art collector. After her first one-woman show at the age of 80 she became an instant success in the art world. She continued to paint until her death at the age of 101. Find out more about this remarkable woman…

 

Condoleezza_RiceCondoleezza Rice

The first woman to hold the position of National Security Advisor, Ms. Rice was also the second woman and second African American to hold the position of Secretary of State. She was a major pioneer in the expansion of global democracies and remains a respected member of Stanford University’s faculty, serving as Provost from 1993 to 1999 and the current director of its Global Center for Business and Economy. Read more about this phenomenal woman…

 

EmmaWatsonEmma Watson

In July of 2014, the 24 year old former Harry Potter actress was named one of the United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassadors after several years of involvement in humanitarian efforts to promote education for girls. In September of 2014, she addressed the United Nations (shown above) and launched the HeForShe campaign to combat the perception of modern feminism and change the way the world views women’s rights. Read more about this rising voice in women’s rights….

 

Average Conversion Rates Aren’t Really Average

Don't settle for Average Conversion Rates in Ecommerce

Average Isn’t Really Average—It’s Failing.  Average conversion rates for ecommerce are between 2 and 6% (mileage varies based on industry). A lot of businesses get into that range and start feeling good about their e-commerce efforts. …Don’t.

Online business can be overwhelming. There are so many moving parts it’s difficult to keep up with them all and impossible to be an expert on them all. I completely understand the compulsion to look at what everyone else is getting out of their online efforts and decide being in the average probably means you’re doing fine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that. It means you’re doing marginally better than the majority of businesses, and way worse than businesses doing it well.

To give some examples, in 2012 Schwan’s Foods’ website had a 41.7% conversion rate and Woman Within had a 22.4%. In 2014, Schwan’s reported 40.6% and Woman Within went up to 25.3%. Both companies sustained conversions way above the average. They are not alone in putting up those kinds of conversion numbers, and before you start thinking they must have low traffic that just converts well, each of those websites is well over half a million unique visitors each month. Still willing to settle for 2-6%?

I’m going to let you in on a secret— I don’t love technology. Some days, I don’t even like it. What I love, what really fires me up, is efficiency. Technology that isn’t doing better than a human being is useless. A website that isn’t converting better than a call center employee or a paper order form is failing. A 2% conversion rate means that out of 100 people who came in to your online store with a need in mind, who had a 1 on 1 conversation with your website, it was only able to convince 2 of them to purchase. Every single day that’s happening. Every single month.

If your website were a floor salesman, you would fire it.

There are a lot of ways to improve conversion rate on your website. We’re not going to get into them right now because that’s a long process full of testing, testing, and more testing. Instead let’s keep going with this floor salesman idea. If that same salesman started getting contact information from the prospects he failed to sell to, and was extremely effective in his follow up and consequentially his closing rate, you’d be much less inclined to fire him.

You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? By getting really good at collecting the right information on your website—the exact same under-converting website you have right now— and applying it to an expertly crafted email marketing plan, you can turn that failure into an asset.

With trigger messages and list segmentation, you can create a 24/7 sales machine with the kind of efficiency that is only possible through technology. And with a full service email marketing agency like Email Broadcast, you don’t even need to struggle with learning something new. All you have to do is pick up the phone.

Get Your Facts Straight About CASL: What Email Marketers Need to Know About Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation

Get Your Facts Straight About CASL: What Email Marketers Need to Know About Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation

Last July, Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) came into effect, and it recently received another update in January 2015. If you don’t have a full service email marketing agency keeping track of this for you, you need to keep yourself up to date on this legislation. Though most people are under the impression that the law has been implemented to combat spam, it has been designed to do much more. In fact, CASL is the unofficial acronym given to the law, the official name is “An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act”, and it’s been implemented to put a stop to the following:

  • Collection of email addresses without consent
  • Phishing scams and ambiguous practices for obtaining personal information
  • Deceptive practices for installing malware and spyware
  • Distribution of unsolicited commercial messages sent electronically.

If an email marketer has clients in Canada, it’s important for them to be aware of the limitations CASL has in place to avoid the heavy-handed penalty imposes.

You Must Have Consent.

Obtaining consent to send commercial message to a client is the first of three requirements outlined by CASL. Requiring consent—and the government expects you to keep records of when and how consent is received—has been enacted as an attempt to cut down unsolicited messages. Canadian Legal FAQs has a comprehensive explanation of the various degrees and definitions for consent.

Moreover, email marketers who are using a pop up window or a designated space on the website for gathering email addresses for newsletters and other commercial messages need to be aware that if it includes a checkbox, the checkbox cannot be pre-checked. This is because businesses can no longer assume consent, and the pre-checked box is considered an assumption. However, a blank checkbox is acceptable under CASL.

You Must Provide Identifying Information.

CASL also requires senders to identify themselves and/or their organization to recipients. In addition to giving your actual name and email address, you must also provide a mailing address and phone number. In alignment with the requirement of truthful identification, the content of the message can be neither false nor misleading; all email addresses, links, and other metadata in the electronic message cannot be spoofed.

You Must Offer Recipients a Convenient Way to Unsubscribe.

The persons you send your commercial messages to must be able to unsubscribe from the broadcasts in the same format the message was sent. Therefore, email marketers must provide a place to remove themselves from the list or manage their subscriptions on every email.

More Important Information About CASL for Email Marketers

Though the three main prongs of CASL are consent, clear identification, and option to unsubscribe, email marketers should dig further into the legislation to determine other ways they need to modify commercial messages.

Liability for Forwarding Emails to Others

Email marketers may be interested to know that there is a clause that addresses who is held responsible when an email is forwarded. If the person doing the emailing has a personal relationship with whom the email is forwarded to, then CASL has not been violated. However, if the email contains a message that entices readers to share with others, this could be considered an infringement. Strict interpreters of the legislation recommend disclosing the person receiving this message maintains a personal relationship—but it’s more of a CYA, since enforcement of CASL thus far has been scant.

Cost of and Liability for a CASL Infraction

Those found guilty of a CASL violation are subjected to an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) that can be up to $1 million per charge for individuals and $10 million for businesses.

Sure the costs of CASL violations seem comically hyperbolic, considering over these past months, there have been no instances of prosecution mentioned in the news, and chatter over this legislation is at best a murmur. Until a major case makes headlines, CASL will continue to be a sleeping giant. However, just because CASL isn’t being enforced heavy-handedly doesn’t mean email marketers should ignore the law.

Successful marketing campaigns most often rely on cultivating a quality audience, and sheer volume of recipients doesn’t always translate into more conversions. Furthermore, you should always be upfront and honest when crafting messages; after all, you should strive to develop a relationship with your clients built on trust, and this involves giving them the ability to unsubscribe from messages at any time. Don’t abide by CASL just because it’s the law—abide by it because you’re an ethical email marketer that believes in treating clients with honesty and integrity.

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